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Bought a used car and shocked by bills

By DMZ - 9 August 2015 14

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I bought a used car from a dealer in Fyshwick. Since I am still resolving my complaint with them I will not mention the name for now.

My purchase was based on the information that nothing I needed to know other than the paint problems and that is the reason they offered my price.

However my regular mechanic told me a series of repairs are to be done, cost up to 78% of the purchase price in a short period. My dealer’s mechanic told me the brakes were worn around 70% and they were due for replacement in 10k km. I wasn’t told any of this at all when I made the purchase.

My question is would it be reasonable for me to expect the dealer to inform me there could be significant amount of maintenance bills to come soon, so at least I could budget for it?

What I am not comfortable is my dealer was not upfront and starightforward when I purchased the car. We would have a very different conversation if I was told : you would expect a major maitenance down the track. that is on the table.

Call me naive but I felt like I needed to be treated better.

Thank you

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Bought a used car and shocked by bills
dungfungus 9:32 am 24 Nov 15

farnarkler said :

In this situation it’s helpful to know Section 20 (6)(a) of the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977. You have the right to know who the last owner who was not a trade owner. You could then have contacted them and asked the condition of the car before you bought it.

In some states the statutory warranty ceases to have effect:

three months after the vehicle is delivered or after being driven 3000 kms, whichever occurs sooner
if used by the purchaser for rally driving or motor racing
if used by the purchaser as a taxi or hire vehicle
if repossessed by a financier
if the purchaser sells the vehicle to another person; or
if the odometer reading is altered

Uber operators please note.

rubaiyat 10:43 pm 23 Nov 15

Where’s wildturkeycanoe?

This would appear to be right up his creek. Without the paddle! 😉

DMZ 10:22 pm 23 Nov 15

Thank you for you guys constructive support. My dealer agreed and told me to fix a few things to settle my dispute after I send a letter to complaint.

About to due for my first maintenance with my mechanic— exciting about the finds!

farnarkler 11:53 pm 22 Aug 15

In this situation it’s helpful to know Section 20 (6)(a) of the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977. You have the right to know who the last owner who was not a trade owner. You could then have contacted them and asked the condition of the car before you bought it.

Sandman 11:05 pm 21 Aug 15

Might help if you give us the model of car and what you paid for it. Also a list of the kind of items needing replacement. A lot of the time, the sales guy hasn’t driven the car, and wouldn’t really know what is needed. With the amount of information available on the Internet today there’s no real excuse for not going into a purchase with some independent information.

Affirmative Action M 11:03 am 11 Aug 15

DMZ Now you know why Car Dealers have a bad name & are on a par with Pollies, lawyers, real estate agents & drug dealers. If you are not mechanically minded spend $100 & get a mechanic to check it out before you buy.

gazket 10:16 pm 10 Aug 15

People don’t trade in perfectly good cars and the dealers don’t replace parts unless the car really needs it to sell. A $15k car can have the same dramas as $1500 car . oil leaks, worn brakes, worn suspension and bushes,

Buying second hand cars It’s up to you to look at the car and form your own opinion or get a professional opinion on the car. NRMA check or Your Regular Mechanic.

It’s not up to the seller to point out the cars bad points and future costs, if he/she even knows of any faults. They probably don’t even know the cars history.

All you can do is put it down for experience for next time so you don’t buy a lemon.

KHorvath 9:14 pm 10 Aug 15

Sorry you had a bad experience!

As far as warning you about repairs that may need to be done – sometimes the dealer may not even be aware the car has a fault. I bought my first car recently and will freely admit I know nothing about cars, so I was nervous about exactly the kind of situation you describe. I took it for a pre-purchase inspection to a trustworthy mechanic that family members had done business with for years – the mechanic identified a badly repaired bumper that I wouldn’t have spotted just looking over the car by myself, as well as misalignment of the steering wheel. When I told the dealer about this he was very willing to have the car repaired at no cost to me prior to me purchasing it. He claimed he had no idea the car had been damaged (although I suppose it’s possible this isn’t true). Either way, the pre-purchase inspection was definitely worth the $80 I paid the mechanic, since the repairs would have cost me significantly more than that.

It may be worth talking to the dealer to see if they can do something for you if you’ve only bought the car recently – or as others have suggested, taking it back if you’re inside three days from purchase. I was very surprised by how willing the dealer was to foot the bill for the repairs! Whatever happens, you have my sympathies.

Raging Tempest 1:47 pm 10 Aug 15

The dealer doesn’t need to disclose routine maintenance requirements to you, it goes with owning a car. If the head is cracked or a piston is jammed, that’s a different matter, its significant damage.

Maya123 10:25 am 10 Aug 15

cbrmale said :

The costs of running cars grows exponentially over time and especially over distance. The first two to three years of a new car will see minimal maintenance costs, and then costs start to build up with tyres, brakes, dampers (shock absorbers), battery, drive belts, various filters, wheel bearings etc. Of course there is depreciation on a new car but usually you can negotiate a substantial discount on RRP which minimises that depreciation.

Buying a used car is largely caveat emptor, especially if you’re not mechanically minded and cannot ascertain the car’s condition. Overall though, one cannot expect to buy something which has covered maybe a substantial distance and not spend money on it. Many routine maintenance items can cost multiples of hundreds of dollars up to more than a thousand, and if there are a few routine maintenance items due then many thousands may need to be spent.

It is not unreasonable to spend many thousands of dollars of maintenance on a used car, and if anyone wishes to avoid that then they have the option to buy new cars like I do. I also do my own repairs and maintenance and that reduces my maintenance bills by about two-thirds, with the bonus that I know the work that is done is done right.

“Overall though, one cannot expect to buy something which has covered maybe a substantial distance and not spend money on it.”

It depends how well the car was looked after. When I sold my 21 yr old car it was in great shape (replacement engine), as I had looked after it and any problems had been dealt with. The person who bought that got a very reliable car that looked immaculate. Same as when I bought a ten yr old car, it didn’t need any immediate work done on it. It too had been well looked after.
I agree though with DMZ that they should have been told more about the condition of the car. I have never bought a used car from a dealer, so I don’t know the rules. However a friend of mine bought a used car that turned out to have a problem and the dealer had to fix it. This took several trips with the car back to the dealer until they finally managed to rectify the problem. I think there was some warranty covering this. The dealer lost badly with that deal. We speculated that difficult problem was why the previous owner of the car offloaded the car.

paservank 9:42 am 10 Aug 15

If it is not too late, you have three working days to return the car. I’m pretty sure your ‘cooling off’ period doesn’t require you to give a reason and is not something that can be signed away in the contract (it comes under the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977).

paservank 9:40 am 10 Aug 15

It may be too late, but if you purchased the car less than 3 working days ago you can still return it under the provisions of the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act 1977.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 8:46 am 10 Aug 15

I’d suggest reading the responses to the identical thread you posted over at Whirlpool.

cbrmale 1:55 pm 09 Aug 15

The costs of running cars grows exponentially over time and especially over distance. The first two to three years of a new car will see minimal maintenance costs, and then costs start to build up with tyres, brakes, dampers (shock absorbers), battery, drive belts, various filters, wheel bearings etc. Of course there is depreciation on a new car but usually you can negotiate a substantial discount on RRP which minimises that depreciation.

Buying a used car is largely caveat emptor, especially if you’re not mechanically minded and cannot ascertain the car’s condition. Overall though, one cannot expect to buy something which has covered maybe a substantial distance and not spend money on it. Many routine maintenance items can cost multiples of hundreds of dollars up to more than a thousand, and if there are a few routine maintenance items due then many thousands may need to be spent.

It is not unreasonable to spend many thousands of dollars of maintenance on a used car, and if anyone wishes to avoid that then they have the option to buy new cars like I do. I also do my own repairs and maintenance and that reduces my maintenance bills by about two-thirds, with the bonus that I know the work that is done is done right.

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